We all work best when we have a calm and controlled mind, enabling us to work efficiently and make even smarter decisions. Get back some of your sanity and productivity with these handy tips.
Take a minute to relax, de-stress and stop feeling guilty
Smart business people are typically very driven and they often make the mistake of assuming that flogging a dead horse will make things better. Believe me, it won’t! Continually blaming and beating yourself up (or others, for that matter) rests on an assumption that the person who makes a mistake is just lazy or intentionally foolish. But none of us are perfect…including you. Take a deep breath and admit you’re only human and then focus on finding solutions to the problem and develop good habits and systems that will stop it happening again.
Put things into context
There are all sorts of activities that are time consuming and grinding. Anyone who disagrees should open their email inbox and see how many unwanted unanswered messages they have! But putting things into proper context can make them more bearable, because it helps you remember not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. When working late in the day to answer those emails or menial tasks, remind yourself that they are just as important as all the other tasks you perform daily. Then suddenly tasks that seemed a drag and annoyance are a lot more easier to deal with.
Get into a decision rhythm
When we consider our ‘invisible in life’, making decisions can create as much stress as dealing with those day to day demands. It’s the mental tension of wrestling among a number of options that can wear you down. For example, this is why shopping is so exhausting. It’s not the horrible crowds, endless queues at the tills, rude shop staff, it’s all the decision making! So use a ‘shopping routine’ to reduce the number of decisions you have to make. It will simplify your process in deciding what you want, leaving you more time to deal with life’s other issues.
Add ‘when’ or ‘where’ to your to-do list
Many studies have shown that deciding in advance where and when you’ll perform a task, whether daily exercise, returning phone calls or dealing with tricky issues, can double or even triple the chances that you’ll get on and do it. It further reduces the number of decisions you make and primes your unconscious to look for the opportunity to complete the task. Of course, if you’re using a to-do list where the most important one gets done first, this may not always work. So it’s important to do it as a matter of good practice.
Recognising the real difference between what is important and what is urgent is key to successful de-stressing. Pair that with removing guilt for having downtime and recharging and you’ll be well on the way to a primed and healthy mind.
What practices work best for you? We’d love to know.
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